Understanding the capabilities of your electrical enclosures or mechanical casings is vital to the success of your product, especially if the application environment will expose your product’s electrical components to harsh elements. However, you can’t always believe the claims made by product marketers. Their definition of “waterproof” may be resistance to splashing while your team’s definition is total submersion. The International Protection Marking (aka “IP Code” or “Ingress Protection”) is a rating system that aims to fix this dilemma.
The purpose of an international protection marking is to indicate the specific degree of protection a mechanical casing or electrical enclosure offers against exposure to dust, foreign objects and water. By standardizing how we define levels of resistance, IP codes eliminate ambiguity and provide consumers with consistent and exact performance specifications. Each code consists of the letters “IP” followed by a series of numbers (and sometimes a letter). For example, IP67 or IP67H. Below is a chart that breaks down what each number and letter indicates about a product.
To obtain an IP rating, products must go through controlled testing simulations involving jet nozzles, immersion tanks and more. These tests are conducted in an accredited lab and certified based on specifications laid out by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and other governing bodies.
Using the chart above, we can determine that if a product has an IP67 marking, that product offers total protection from dust and can be submerged under water up to 1 meter. A letter that appears at the end of an IP Code, such as the letter “H” in the example below, signifies one of two additional pieces of information:
- The testing conditions used to assign the IP rating.
- The certified resistance to a specific material or hazard.
Note: Just because a product is rated IP67, does not mean it is impervious to all types of water applications that come before it, such as IP66, IP65, IP64, etc. Submerging a product is not the same as exposing a product to high-powered jet propulsion. For this reason, we encourage product teams to study the application environment carefully and understand the details associated with each IP rating before making a purchasing decision.
iCONN Systems manufactures a vast inventory of IP-rated products that have been rigorously tested to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Learn more about ingress protection markings or contact us directly to speak with an experienced representative. We will ensure that the electrical components you choose for your product certifiably stand up to the demands of your application environment.